Side hustling in Singapore has seen increased popularity in recent years. This trend can be attributed to a variety of factors, including the desire for financial security and stability, and the need to supplement one’s income in an increasingly expensive city-state. This is especially true for Singapore which is currently ranked 8th in the world for most expensive cities in 2022 according to Mercer.
The phenomenon of pursuing side hustles can be said to be largely attributed to and expedited by the COVID-19 pandemic. Being stuck at home has pushed many with more free time and space to pick up new skills, explore their passions and find creative ways to make additional income.
Here are some of the following benefits of having a side hustle in Singapore:
1. Financial Security & Diversification
One of the most obvious advantages of a side hustle is the potential for additional income. In other words, not putting all your eggs in one basket. This can help people achieve their financial goals more quickly, whether it be paying off their tuition loans, saving for a down payment on an HDB, or building an emergency fund. In addition, if one were to suddenly be served with a termination letter in an unforeseen circumstance, they would not be left in the lurch by having a side income as a backup plan.
The traditional view of people having to focus on their one and only primary job is on the way out. Including the notion that one’s primary job is expected to be relevant to the course of study that one had taken back in their university days and that their career path has to follow a conventional trajectory.
2. Career Development
A side hustle can also be an opportunity for both personal and professional growth. It can give people the chance to develop new skills and explore new industries, which can be beneficial for future career opportunities. Moreover, it can help in increasing their professional network.
Let’s look at an example:
Dave is a first-year accountant who is currently working in an MNC. His hobbies include baking and brewing coffee. Being an accountant, his expected path includes working his way up from an assistant role up to senior and eventually hitting finance manager within a 5-7 year timeline. Instead of focusing solely on his primary job, he could pursue his passion on the side and sell baked goods and coffee as a home-based food business. With consistent hard work, and a bit of luck he could possibly think about opening up his own cafe down the line if his food business takes off. He could potentially become his own boss within the same projected timeline.
A side hustle can also offer flexibility in terms of working hours, which can be beneficial for people who have other responsibilities, such as raising a family or caring for an elderly parent. One would be able to plan their side job freely around their existing schedule to earn that extra bit of income. For example, home tutors can schedule their lessons flexibly with their students.
4. Sense of Fulfillment
A side hustle can provide a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction, as it allows individuals to pursue their passions and interests outside of their primary job. Being able to earn an income no matter how small or big from one’s passion could provide the fulfillment that might be lacking if one were to have a job that is initially and still not within their area of interest, due to a lack of opportunities during their younger years.
While there are certainly benefits to having a side hustle, here are some downsides to consider.
1. Time Commitment
One of the downsides of having a side hustle is that it can be time-consuming. People may have to sacrifice time that could have been spent with family or friends, or on hobbies and other activities. This is especially true if the earnings from the side hustle do not reasonably match the time spent on it.
Balancing a full-time job and a side hustle can be stressful and mentally taxing. It can be challenging to find the time and energy to devote to both, which could lead to burnout. Having good time management skills is key to making a side hustle work. Support and understanding from loved ones are also important if one is responsible for others.
3. Financial Risks
Starting a side hustle can also come with financial risks, particularly if the venture is not successful. People may find themselves spending more money than they earn, which can be problematic. Remember that a side hustle should be an operation that benefits you rather than a continuing liability. One can circumvent this by ensuring that the costs of the side hustle are both funded by and do not exceed the disposable income earned from their primary job.
4. Legal Obligations
Some side hustles may require additional legal compliance, such as obtaining a business licence or registering a company. Not fulfilling these obligations can lead to legal trouble. For example, selling food online in Singapore does not require a licence from Singapore Food Agency (SFA). However, these sellers or home-based food businesses have the responsibility to ensure that their products are prepared in a hygienic environment with ingredients obtained from suppliers regulated by the SFA.
You are piqued now and entertaining the idea of having a side hustle. What are your options?
Side Hustles in Singapore to Consider:
- Home-Based F&B Business
- Part-time food delivery rider (Grab, Deliveroo, Foodpanda)
- E-commerce business (Dropshipping, Etsy, Shopify, Amazon, Shopee, Lazada)
- Affiliate marketing (Amazon Associates)
- Reselling (Carousell, eBay)
- Freelance photography & videography
- Online/offline tutoring
- Create an educational website
- Sale of handmade products
If you’re interested in finding out more in-depth about some of these side hustles, you can read our article on 16 Lucrative Side Hustles in Singapore to Earn Extra Income.
Having a side hustle can be a great way to supplement one’s income and achieve financial goals, but it is important to weigh the pros and cons as laid out above, before making a decision. It’s important to consider the time commitment and potential stress that it may cause as well as the potential legal and financial obligations. Ultimately, whether or not a side hustle is right for you will depend on your individual circumstances and goals.
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